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August 28, 2015

Industry reports indicate relocation budgets are on the rise

  • Corporate relocation
Here are the latest trends increasing employee relocation budgets in 2015.

One of the ever-changing elements of the corporate relocation industry is the frequent fluctuation of company moving budgets. Economic factors are the primary reasons for constant shifts in how much money businesses set aside for relocating employees, especially after the Great Recession hit at the end of the previous decade. However, recent reports are indicating that many companies are beginning to finally increase their relocation budgets, due to a variety of factors ranging from rising company growth to even spouse or partner employment. Take a look at how employee relocation is continuing to strengthen and why companies shouldn't expect budgets and volume to reduce any time soon:

Analyzing the recent employee relocation boom

Nearly 500 corporate relocation professionals took part in the 48th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey conducted by Atlas Van Lines, providing plenty of insight into some of the latest trends emerging within the corporate relocation industry. In 2014, almost half of all companies reported an increase in budget for employee relocation. This is a promising statistic, given that previous surveys revealed that approximately 33 percent or fewer of companies stated increases in relocation budget in the initial years after the Great Recession.

Much of the cause for higher budgets had to do with the fact that 49 percent of companies also experienced higher relocation volumes in 2014. More than half of businesses that were mid-size to larger firms reported relocation volume increases, and employees migrating internationally increased across the board for companies of all sizes. The results also indicate that these higher figures are anything but a phase, as nearly half of the respondents also stated they believe their relocation volume and budget numbers should continue to grow in 2015.

"Experts predict even more increases in employee relocation budgets for 2015."

Companies changing relocation budget spending policies

To account for the rise in moving employees, many companies are adjusting to the volume increases by changing the way they disperse relocation costs. One of the bigger trends includes a departure from the previous full reimbursement methods of moving expenses for new employees. Instead, more businesses are turning to partial reimbursement practices or lump-sum payments. In comparison, only 38 percent of new hires received full reimbursement on moving expenses, while 66 percent of transferred employees were fully compensated for their relocation.

Factors for increased budget and volume numbers

There are several emerging trends that play into why many companies are looking to increase their budgets for moving employees in 2015. One of the biggest factors behind the growth in volume alluded to a lack of available local talent, prompting human resource departments to look out of state for new applicants. In recent years, the real estate market was a primary reason for shying away from employee relocation. However, the survey results showed that only 21 percent of respondents stated that the housing market affected their plans for moving employees, the lowest that number has been since 2007. In addition, companies seem to be embracing the trend of spouse or partner employment. Couples are more than ever citing partner employment as a reason for declining relocation, but businesses are responding to this statistic by offering more spousal employment options than ever before.

In response to the latest survey on corporate relocation, Atlas Van Lines president and COO Jack Griffin expressed his excitement of the results, as well as his company's dedication to helping these businesses relocate in 2015 and beyond.

"We're thrilled to see our longest running industry survey results identify increased relocation volume and budgets," Griffin said in a statement. "Our human resource and mobility peers expect corporate relocations to increase throughout the remainder of 2015, and we look forward to working alongside them to identify key insights that will continue to assist them in their profession."